Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Well, add “Twilight” to the list of things that makes me feel old and out of touch. Stephenie Meyer’s series of vampire romance books with Mormon undertones have taken tween girls and their moms by storm, and the phenomenon seems to have hit a new crescendo with the release of the movie version this Friday. Frankly, I just don’t get it. For a movie so hugely anticipated (yet I don’t personally know anyone who wants to see it), there’s not a whole lot to say about “Twilight,” except that I don’t quite understand what someone might find interesting about it. Like a tamer, lamer, chaster version of HBO’s “True Blood,” Catherine Hardwicke’s adaptation follows the PG-rated, sexless romance between human girl (Kristin Stewart) and vampire boy (Robert Pattinson) and their tortured, boring emo conflicts about what they should do. For a movie where not much happens – everything seems to be set-up – the movie takes forever to tell its story and feels epic (if I didn’t have a watch, I’d have sworn the 120-minute flick ran a whole hour longer). It takes about half its running time for Stewart to discover beautiful boy’s vampire origins, and then we get endless montages where pop music plays over conversations between the two where we don’t even hear the dialogue, punctuated by occasional reminders that boy has to fight his bloodlust when around girl so he’s not tempted to instinctively kill her (think that’ll play into the finale?).

Not much stuck out as “awful” here, but for a film that’s an encapsulation of such a phenomenon, I was surprised how flavorless and flat-out boring the majority of “Twilight” is, more often than not resembling a particularly generic WB pilot. As for Pattinson, the new heralded movie star gracing the cover of every magazine, he’s sure purty as hell to look at, but he seems completely bereft of range, and even worse, charisma; the most expression he musters throughout is his frequent, increasingly hilarious intense stares (his eyes bug so many times, I worried for his health). The passionate gazing all-around goes to such an extreme that I genuinely thought it was being played for laughs at first, but like dozens of other elements, they’re completely intended as drama; there are occasional moments of fun kitsch, made more amusing by the fact that they don’t seem to be self-aware, but there’s not nearly enough of them to earn this the tag of “guilty pleasure” or “unintended comedy.” Rather, it all comes off as a vaguely boring, bloated, familiar work filled with unintentionally goofy touches (how do the people living in this town not notice that everyone covered with ghost white makeup is obviously a vampire?). Fans of the books should be satisfied, if not ecstatic, but everyone else will be wondering what the fuck the fuss is about.


Blogger Monk Inyang said...

I felt the exact same way after watching this yesterday, "What is all the hype about?" I don't see what makes it stand out so much. I figured the books must have been awesome

11:18 AM  

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